Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Women more likely than men to lose interest in sex

Friday Sep 15 2017

"Women get bored of having sex with their partner after just a year together, a new study suggests," is the rather crass story in the Mail Online. The news is based on research that actually found multiple factors...

Tattoo ink particles can spread into lymph nodes

Thursday Sep 14 2017

"Tattoos could give you cancer, new research suggests," is the entirely unsupported claim from the Mail Online. The news come from a study that found evidence particles from tattoo ink can spread into lymph nodes...

Sitting 20 minutes less a day won't make you more 'muscly'

Thursday Aug 31 2017

"Spending just 20 minutes less sitting a day reduces blood sugar levels, improves cholesterol AND even makes you more muscly," is the Mail Online's overly optimistic claim…

Reports that 'women have more stamina' look a little weak

Tuesday Aug 29 2017

"Women have more stamina than men," is the definitive sounding, yet entirely unsupported headline in The Times. The study the headline is based on involved just nine women and eight men. Researchers asked each participant to do an exercise…

10-minute walk a day app to tackle 'inactivity epidemic'

Thursday Aug 24 2017

"Health bosses say 45 per cent of over-16s are so sedentary they do not manage the health-boosting ten-minute walk," the Daily Mail reports. Data found that more than 6.3 million adults failed to achieve just 10 minutes of brisk walking per month…

People who regularly groom their pubic hair at risk of injuries

Thursday Aug 17 2017

"A quarter of Americans are injured and hospitalized by tidying up 'down there'," the Mail Online reports. The headline is prompted by a survey which asked 7,570 adults about pubic hair removal and "grooming" (such as waxing)…

Kitchen sponges may be a 'bacteria hotspot' – but no need to worry

Thursday Aug 3 2017

"Study finds just a sugar-cube sized piece of kitchen sponge can contain 54 BILLION bacterial cells," the Mail Online reports. A German study sampled a number of different kitchen sponges and found they contained far more bacteria than expected…

Western sperm counts 'halved' in last 40 years

Wednesday Jul 26 2017

"Sperm counts among Western men have halved in last 40 years," The Guardian reports. A major review of research carried out since 1973 found an estimated 50-60% drop in sperm count in developed nations...

'Buying time' and not just things may increase life satisfaction

Tuesday Jul 25 2017

"Using money to free-up time is linked to increased happiness," BBC News reports. Researchers surveyed people from a number of developed countries and found those who reported using money to free up time…

Snoring link to Alzheimer’s disease unproven

Monday Jul 24 2017

"Snoring linked to Alzheimer's," the Mail Online reports. A US study reported an association between sleep-disorder breathing and Alzheimer's disease in later life. But no definitive link between the two has been proven...

What is Behind the Headlines?

We give you the facts without the fiction. Professor Sir Muir Gray, founder of Behind the Headlines, explains more...

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